Thursday, March 16, 2006

Drinking Fair Trade Coffee

Last evening, we had occasion to be in town somewhat early for a meeting and found ourselves looking to kill some time over a decent cup of coffee. I was pleasantly surprised to spot the outlet pictured below or one very much like it.



I had heard of Bridgehead once before, actually from a textbook from the World Issues geography courses that I was once taught. In a section on global disparity, the free trade concept received some attention, and Bridgehead was one of the free traders that was mentioned. The following blurb from their own website introduces them well enough.


We are a specialty coffee company that offers 100% fairly traded and organic coffees and teas. We link customers with small-scale farmers in developing countries through fair trade coffee and tea. And we are committed to providing excellent quality products from responsible and progressive sources at reasonable prices.


They appear to be a small outfit. If I am reading their website correctly, they have only five coffee shops, all in the Ottawa area. The one that we entered on Elgin Street was full of university types. Many were diligently labouring over their laptops; others were poring over printed essays — apparently reading and editing.


The coffee was very robust, more so than I am used to. I was appreciative of about third of a cup before it was time ago, but not so appreciative that I was inclined to carry the rest with to the meeting which I was about to attend because it was a little strong for my acquired taste. I did have the feeling, however, that I was consuming coffee as it was meant to taste, and I also felt that my choice was doing more good than harm to both humanity and the environment. Would that we more often had the opportunity to make such choices.


 

6 comments:

Dale said...

I'm going to suggest that we serve only fair trade coffee at church. It's a brilliant idea, buying this type of product. It's more expensive, but worth it I think. Good for you, AC!

Loren said...

I remember hearing of Bridgehead coffee being available for sale years ago through the United Church (when I was young, under my parents' roof and still going to church.) More recently, I was at my grandmother's house and she had a bag of it in her kitchen.

Anyway, great to see that fair trade coffee is becoming so recognized as to set up coffee shops that specialize in it! Wow.

Linda said...

We decided to serve only Fair Trade coffee at our church after one of our members came back from a trip to Kenya. At home, I only purchase fair trade too. I will not change the world by doing this but I can at least do something in my corner. Thanks for this post.

Gina said...

Yes, the Starbucks coffee and such is such a sanitized version of coffee. My dad has a friend who sends him coffee from Costa Rica, and it completely knocks everyone's socks off!

Sigh, and I just got a Starbuck's gift certificate for my birthday, too.

megz_mum said...

I agree with you - I think given a chance we would all at least consider supporting such products.

Karla said...

The things you learn every day....

That must makes Tims about as evil as Walmart. I just love Tim's too much though. I can't seem to aquire a taste for much else.